Friday, May 27, 2011

Mama La Vida Lanka: Don't Call Me Baby

I’ve been down in the dumps because of the excruciating pain of my morning sickness (more like all-day sickness).  I now know how it feels to be s*it.  It really is like that.  And no matter what everyone says, NOTHING HELPS.  Salt, nope.  Sweets, nope.  Not thinking about it, nope.  But they say (or are they just making us feel better?) it is a good indicator or even predictor that baby will develop normally.  So I decided that the best way to deal with it is to be with it, accept it, cry over it – in other words, just ride it.  It will end at one point anyways. 

Until that time I would just like to refocus on happy thoughts.  One of the things parents-to-be decide on are potential baby names.  Being me, I wanted that settled fast!  I’m sure we will have many other decisions to make along the way so better get the “easy” ones out of the way.  Plus quite a number of my family and friends are already asking.  So here’s a quick preview.

We had a few considerations:

1)   Like my mom, I believe that what you name your child, s/he will grow to live up to his/her name.  So the meaning should definitely be a key factor in choosing baby’s name.
2)   I like the traditional Filipino touch to one’s name – it adds character and is quite unique.  I had to beg hubby to “allow” me to actually use this!
3)   I also like the celestial and I want to have a partner in the sky – at least in name!

So here are what hubby and I have decided on.  One option for girl, and one for boy.  

Is baby a boy or a girl? Photo courtesy of
If our baby is a boy, we would name him Andreas Datu.  Andreas is of Greek origin and means “manly.”  Datu is chief in Filipino.  I like how aspirational Datu as a name is.  And how it connotes leadership. Then when you put them together: A manly chief – so macho! I can already see him sporting a long wavy hair, running in the field and leading a soccer or rugby team.  Hot, hot, hot!  That’s our boy!

If our baby is a girl, she would be Luna Isabelle.  Luna has Latin origin and means “moon.”  The mom is the star, the baby girl is the moon lighting up the life of everyone around them – most especially the hubby / dad.  Isabelle is Hebrew in origin, also a variant of Elizabeth.  It means “God’s promise or God is my oath.”  How beautiful, right?  Hubby and I have wanted a child of our own.  Being pregnant after just a few months of trying is truly a blessing.

So whether baby be a boy or a girl, we already have a name!  What do you think? 

Note: After 6 months and a dose of creative inspiration, I've changed the series title from Mommy Diaries to Mama La Vida Lanka :-) 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mama La Vida Lanka: Morning Sickness No La Vida Lanka :-(

One of the most painful parts of being pregnant is morning sickness.  It does not affect all, but once it strikes you, you know you are one of the unlucky ones.  I am one of the unlucky ones.  My sense of smell is so heightened (I even asked hubby to stop wearing his perfume for a while), I couldn’t even go to the kitchen and cook (waaah!) and I can’t go in the canteen at work while everyone is eating, hubby and I have to eat ahead (aside from being hungry by 12nn on the dot).  I have also found solace in two places at work, the bathroom and the sickroom.  It is where I spend most of my days.  And I have started stocking up on barf bags in my bag just in case I won’t make it to the nearest toilet.  I have reached my lowest day – one Friday, I was throwing up all day like every 15 minutes.  To make matters worse one of my bestest friends from the Philippines was over plus I had to go to the hospital to rehydrate.  Argh!  Talk about wrong timing! 

My new found bestfriend... (Photo courtesy of
 Three things I hate about morning sickness:

1)   The actual sensation - and it's not just in the morning!  It’s like I couldn’t survive because all the smells here (the food, the people, etc.) don’t agree with me. 
2)   Not being able to eat healthy.  Since nothing is quite agreeable (including water), then I couldn’t take my required 8 glasses of water to do the least.  Then I get all paranoid how Baby will survive with the little amount of nutrition I can take in.  But friends say that somehow nature has it’s way of taking care of Baby.
3)   People telling me it’s all in the mind.  Well, hello?  Why would I want to feel this way? I do not want to wish people ill, but what if people tell you it’s all in the mind when you’re really, really sick?  It’s annoying and makes me really, really mad.  It's interesting though that I've only heard this from guys.  My mommy friends would always ask how I'm feeling with that sympathetic look on their faces.  Yes, they do understand how it feels.

But amidst the pain of it all, I’ve learned quite a few things:

1)   Being the goal-obsessed me, I’ve learned to allow myself to bring down the level of performance I expect of myself and to allow myself to listen to my body and what it needs to do.  Rather than continue to push unnecessarily.
2)   Allow other people to take care of me.  Especially my husband.  We both are left with no choice as I cannot do the same things around the house that I used to.  Not only does he do things, he does them well (hubby just happens to be an awesome in the kitchen!).  I am one lucky wifey.

I still have quite a long way to go (now still on my third month) but I pray everyday that my morning sickness will soon disappear as I start my second trimester.  But until that time, I would just have to fortify myself through this and open myself for the learning that lies ahead.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mama La Vida Lanka: Learning from My Mommyology

Sorry I won’t mince words here but being pregnant away from home sucks.  Especially if you live in a country where you don’t even have family or even relatives.  So to ease the anxiety and even the general feeling of not knowing what to expect, I asked the help of my My Mommyology cousin-in-law who has not only gone through the same experience once, but twice!  So she gladly accepted my blog request and summarized 10 tips on how to survive first time mommyhood away from home.  Check out her post!

And here’s where I am in that.

My Pregnancy Answer Book (photo courtesy of
#1: Thank God for my inquisitive nature and I always ask!  Thank God for officemates and Sinhala classmates who serve as wonderful resources.  But most especially for What To Expect When You’re Expecting (and What To Eat When You’re Expecting).  My other cousin-in-law lent me her books (the first of which incidentally was a gift from My Mommyology cousin-in-law!).  It is filled with very relevant information in question and answer form that pretty much provides information for your concerns each month.  If all else fails, I have my Dr. Nalini to ask of course!

#2: That has not happened to me yet! But if it does, I will throw my pride out the door and say YES!

#3: I wish I was in a country like the US where a lot of free and quality services are offered…

#4: This is a tricky one… it gives me great relief when I’m in touch with my friends and family back home.  But being in touch with my family has been quite a stressful experience.  One, I am not sure that they even want to come when I give birth (this being a third world country and my brother graduating from his Masters in a much nicer country like Australia during the same time, coupled with that kind of statement when we broke the news) – I really need them here and I really hope they figure something out.  Two, I feel like in grade school again.  With don’t do this and don’t do that.  Specifically my planning a trip back home in my 2nd trimester.  They don’t understand how it feels and I really need that trip to survive this.  More on this later! Haay… hope our next conversations would be better…

#5: One of my most important learnings especially during this time that I can’t be as productive as I would love to be!

#6: I realized that I married the right man.  I swear! I don’t need to delegate to hubby.  A lot of it is his initiative.

#7: That’s my exact fear, “your pre-disposition while pregnant affects your baby’s disposition as well.”  I felt I have matured over the past couple of years, but now I have regressed to my overly emotional self! So this tip, I will definitely need to learn.  Plus, I find it hard to allow myself to indulge especially when I haven’t been as productive. Tsk, tsk, tsk!

#8: At least Dr. Nalini speaks very good English!

#9: Another lesson to be learned! But somehow I don’t have any choice but to just take it day by day.  Or rather the objective is to just get through the day.

#10: I’m on it!  

Thank you My Mommyology for accepting my blog request! Your post has put a lot of things in perspective for me and reminds me of my gifts (a wonderful hubby for one!) and things I need to learn (allow myself to indulge) in the “greatest journey I’ll ever take.”

Check out for more thoughts on motherhood away from home.

Note: After 6 months and a dose of creative inspiration, I've changed the series title from Mommy Diaries to Mama La Vida Lanka :-) 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mama La Vida Lanka: Doctors La Vida Lanka

Knowing that hubby and I were ready to add a new dimension to our lives, the first order of the day was to search for an Ob-Gyne.  I had a wonderful OB in Manila so I had high standards for finding one. I set out in my fact-finding mission the best way I know how: Ask.  In November I asked my Sinhala Class friend of referrals but her doctor was an elderly gentleman, and in the Philippines we are used to having a woman for our OB.  So ok fine… next I asked a general practitioner.  During the same time I had an ear infection and after getting checked-up on that I just asked him.  The poor guy must have thought I was crazy as he asked me why.  Or maybe he prescribed something bad for expectant mothers.  Oh well, anyway he referred one of the top ranking Doctors and Professors in the country.  He was also the OB of my officemate – she was ok with it.  Not really liking or disliking but another good friend from the office had an unfortunate experience with him.  It wasn’t like he was a bad doctor or anything but after that incident, she went out to search for another OB that suited her.  So she also referred me to another top ranking Doctor and Professor, Dr. Harsha Seneviratne, chair of the Vindana Reproductive Health Center. 
Photo courtesy of
So I decided to pay doctor a visit last March.  The first thing that “shocked” me was the place was apparently a fertility center.  So the intern was asking me how long have I been trying and actually found it strange that I wasn’t trying that long yet I came knocking on their doors.  Doctor of course understood why I was there, I had a check with him and he gave me some tips as well as a prescription for Folate Tablets even when you’re still trying to conceive (TTC).  Second shocker was that I had such a pleasant experience with the fellow.  He is a grandfatherly man and I felt like I could work with him.  Apparently being with a male OB wasn’t all that bad. 

However another friend from work recommended her cousin’s OB.  A woman.  During the same time that I took a schedule with Dr. Harsha, I also took a schedule with Dr. Nalini Prasad.  But apparently she has quite a waiting list and I was locked in for April 23.  More than a month of waiting.  I said, ok fine let’s just go and see.  You see, aside from her being a her, the hospital where she channels* (and I would assume deliver) is just a 5 minute drive from our place.  So in all practicality, it was the best deal for us.    

Now looking back, there was some sense of order in all that frenzied search.  One, I think the “vibes” of the fertility center (and the magical hands of Dr. Harsha) rubbed off on me and gave me some fertility magic.  Second, who would have thought that a month from the time I would see Dr. Nalini, I would actually go there for my 1st pre-natal visit?  The world works in mysterious ways.  And it has a funny way of leading you to your OB Gynecologist!  Now let’s see how it leads me to our baby’s pedia…

*Channel is a term they use here for holding a clinic.  And did you know that both doctors operate in a centralized environment?  Shared secretaries and cashiers?  Quite different from how it is back home. 

Doctor Contacts

Manila OB-Gyne
Dr. Ado Morales
St. Luke’s, QC
(632) 7230101, 7230301 (trunkline)

Colombo General Practitioner
Dr. Shabir Akbarally
Alshifa Medical Center
14 Sakvithi Lane
(011) 2585424

Lanka OB-Gyne
Dr. Harsha Seneviratne
Vindana Reproductive Health Center
9 Barnes Place, Colombo 7
(011) 2682102, 2689685, 2671079

Lanka OB-Gyne
Dr. Nalini Prasad
Lanka Hospitals
578 Elvitigala Mawatha
Narahenpita, Colombo 5
(011) 5431131

Note: After 6 months and a dose of creative inspiration, I've changed the series title from Mommy Diaries to Mama La Vida Lanka :-) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mama La Vida Lanka: An Introduction

It’s been quite some time since I posted anything... the main reason for which is for quite some time now, I’m having difficulty going through many of the activities I used to enjoy.  I couldn’t enter the kitchen, I can’t cook, I can’t eat a lot or drink Coke (even after my Lenten sacrifice).  My senses are dampened and I have lost my appetite for many things.  Heck, I can’t even write about my List La Vida Lanka on Food and Drinks!  A lot of things just make me sick... but for good and actually happy reasons! 

It's Alive! Hearing the heartbeat was priceless!

Mr. And Mrs. O would like to announce that, we are pregnant!

It’s our first and we are totally infanticipating!  It’s going to be another rock n’ roll experience having our first child in La Lanka.  And I’m sure that will shape the rest of our stay here.  So I think it’s just fitting to share with you how’s it like being pregnant, giving birth and raising a baby in Sri Lanka as I go through my newbie motherly pursuits.  

So stay tuned for more stories on Mama La Vida Lanka!   

Note: After 6 months and a dose of creative inspiration, I've changed the series title from Mommy Diaries to Mama La Vida Lanka :-) 
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